Neither Young Nor Old, But Simply New

July 6, 2014

Morning clouds

Morning clouds

IMAGE_5585

Morning clouds over Green Lake, Seattle

Morning clouds over Green Lake, Seattle

“The clouds, the clouds, she thought.  Piled and beautiful, they were both indifferent and inviting.  They had that paradox of nature you saw also in the sea, a thing appearing eternal even as it changed every second.”
— Susan Minot, from Thirty Girls

VII
by Wendell Berry

I know I am getting old and I say so,
but I don’t think of myself as an old man.
I think of myself as a young man
with unforseen debilities.  Time is neither
young nor old, but simply new, always
counting, the only apocalypse.  And the clouds
— no mere measure or geometry, no cubism,
can account for clouds or, satisfactorily, for bodies.
There is no science for this, or art either.
Even the old body is new — who has known it
before? — and no sooner new than gone, to be
replaced by a body yet older and again new.
The clouds are rarely absent from our sky
over this humid valley, and there is a sycamore
that I watch as, growing on the riverbank,
it forecloses the horizon, like the years
of an old man.  And you, who are as old
almost as I am, I love as I loved you
young, except that, old, I am astonished
at such a possibility, and am duly grateful.

 

One Response to “Neither Young Nor Old, But Simply New”


  1. […] Neither Young Nor Old, But Simply New, July 6, 2014 […]


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